How Does Ringworm Spread?

Children Playing Atlanta, GA

Ringworm (tinea corporis) is a common fungal skin infection affecting animals and humans. It thrives in warm, damp environments and spreads very quickly by contact. However, you can still get ringworm in cooler regions because it is highly contagious. Merely touching someone or something used by an infected person (or animal) is enough. You can also get it from petting an infected animal and touching contaminated soil.

Who is Most at Risk?

Anyone, anywhere, can get ringworm. However, those most at risk of infection include:

  • People who live in a tropical environment (hot, humid weather)
  • People who sweat profusely
  • Athletes, especially wrestlers, football players or people who participate in any contact sport
  • People who walk around a locker room or poolside barefoot then put on socks and shoes without cleaning and drying their feet thoroughly
  • People who live in crowded quarters, like a military compound
  • Anyone who shares clothes, towels, razors and other items without disinfecting them
  • Anyone who wears clothing that causes chafing on the skin
  • Obese individuals
  • People with diabetes

Overall, children and athletes get ringworm most often. In addition, everyday objects that people share which are often contaminated include sports equipment, yoga mats, hair brushes, bedding and towels.

How Do You Know If You Have Ringworm?

The skin condition is characterized by an itchy, red and ring-shaped rash. It is widespread and easily treated if the infection is mild. However, it can quickly spread from the affected area to other body parts and contaminate anything the rash touches.

Do You Need a Dermatologist’s Help to Treat Ringworm?

The infection’s severity will determine the course of treatment. Small, localized areas of infected skin may respond well to over-the-counter antifungal creams. However, you may want to have a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Weisman at Medical Dermatology Specialists inspect the rash to ensure proper treatment and mitigate the risk of infecting others.

If you try at-home remedies and the rash does not improve, you should see a specialist who can confirm it is ringworm and offer prescription strength options. In severe cases, the fungal infection can spread deeper into the skin and affect hair follicles, requiring prescription oral antifungal medications.

Atlanta Ringworm Treatment Experts at Medical Dermatology Specialists treat the source of skin problems. Contact us to eliminate your ringworm problem today.

Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
5730 Glenridge Dr, Suite T-100
Atlanta, GA 30328
(404) 939-9220

Monday – Thursday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Posted on behalf of Dr. Jamie Weisman, Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.